Things Worth Knowing Before You Purchase
Published: October 8, 2022
Last updated: December 12, 2022
By Joshua Smith 🇦🇺
I Help Beginners Build Profitable Websites
Welcome to the ultimate Authority Hacker Review for 2022.
I’ve spent thousands of hours auditing and reviewing the content from many SEO and affiliate courses, including The Authority Site System and Authority Hacker Pro.
And yes, I did pay $1,997 USD for the program…which is around $3,000 Australian dollars. Gasp!
But money well spent as I recently sold a site for $23,000 on Flippa. That’s 10x their course price, plus the affiliate/display ad earnings I made while owning the site.
So if you’re ready to get started with Authority Hacker’s training and need to know:
➜ If you should just buy T.A.S.S. or go for the complete Pro version
➜ What’s involved with each course
➜ If I still provide a 30-minute coaching call
➜ Who their courses are best suited to
➜ The most common reason people don’t get results
➜ More information about Authority Pro Platinum
Then I’d be happy to help you! I’m quite active in the course:
Authority Hacker At A Glance
Helps students build profitable content sites, starting from ground zero.
$2,997 for Authority Hacker Pro which only opens twice per year.
$997 for The Affiliate Site System, although discounts may be offered.
🤩 Bonuses Offered
If you join with my affiliate link, I’m happy to provide a 30-minute call once you’ve completed the full course.
On this Zoom call, we can go through your site analysis, content marketing plan and 24-month goals. I’m in Australia btw.
🌍 Student Volume
The Authority Site System Mastermind Group on Facebook has 5,400 people, while the Authority Hacker Pro has 2,400 people.
Two completely in-depth courses on building profitable websites run by respected veterans of SEO.
❌ Notable Complaints
Both courses are long and drawn out (as they should be) which causes beginners to lose patience.
🚀 The X-Factor
Mark and Gael have flipped several of their own websites.
📈 Industry Trends
While traditional investments over the last few months have been hammered, multiples on website acquisitions remain at 35x to 50x depending on the niche.
👨🏻💻 My Verdict
The best (and most expensive) affiliate marketing course I’ve paid for. Worth every penny.
Check that AH78 is the affiliate ID, enrol in the course and you’ll get a 30-Minute Coaching Call on Zoom with me.
Why You Should Trust Me
I’m Joshua Smith from Australia. I have been building profitable content sites since 2011.
I bought Authority Hacker Pro about 2.5 years ago, so I didn’t buy it and review it right away for affiliate commissions. I’ve genuinely put this course to the test over time.
This is the welcome email I received upon joining:
About 2 days after joining, Daniel from the AHPro team sent me a personal video:
That email is for my eyes only 😜
I’m unsure if they still send these out. Mark Webster has confirmed to me that they do still send these out.
Today, in addition to growing and managing my own portfolio of blogs, I really enjoy helping others on their journey.
Now let’s be honest – course reviews are always a little biased but I aim to maintain neutrality and provide some realistic criticism through my own experiences.
My ultimate aim is to help you get the most value out of this course. 😃
Why Authority Hacker?
Mark Webster and Gael Breton have received a ton of praise from the SEO community.
Unlike questionable communities such as Wealthy Affiliate, Authority Hacker avoids the hype.
Both educators have around 10 years experience each in building profitable authority sites.
Prior to this, they ran an SEO agency together which was later sold as they lost interest.
Is It Worth Buying An SEO Course?
Mark, Gael and many other SEOs pour a ton into their podcast.
Some people don’t like courses and gurus, choosing to binge-watch Youtube to learn.
And that strategy is OK. It’ll cost more time and your savings can be spent on content.
On the other hand, many people value their time and are happy to invest in a course.
Others do a hybrid approach, such as @NicheSiteLady and @NicheDown from Twitter.
They launched their sites based based on YouTube videos, then bought a course later.
The Authority Site System VS Authority Hacker Pro
The Authority Site System is for beginners, while Authority Hacker Pro is for seasoned SEOs.
This review will cover both courses in detail, and which one you should choose.
Let’s get this started!
The Authority Site System
This is a basic module but includes tips for success and SEO/affiliate glossary.
I don’t recommend skipping this section.
Unlike other courses I’ve done, there is no self-help talk here.
Module 1: Internet Marketing 101
This is for true beginners.
You’ll discover how affiliate sites get traffic, make money and how they’re built in the 2020s.
Module 2: Brainstorming Niches
Straight into what students are looking for.
This module featured 11 sections on finding the perfect niche.
Fortunately for me, I choose niches based on personal interest.
Most of my sites are in the outdoors niche (camping, watersports etc).
Module 3: Qualifying Niches
16 lessons on shortlisting your initial list.
This is drawnout but necessary to ensure you pick the right niche as a beginner.
Module 4: Planning Your Site
In this module, you’ll focus on planning keywords and monetization.
This is one module where it can become overwhelming with the technical aspects.
My advice: Stick at it!
Module 5: Setting Up Your Site
This module covers hosting, themes and plugins
They recommend WordPress and kept simple with Elementor, GeneratePress and RankMath.
Again, more overwhelming but can be easy if you’ve built a basic website before.
Module 6: Branding Your Site
It’s time to dress up your bland WP site.
They cover using GeneratePress (quite light and fast) or Elementor (heavy but stylish)
Module 7: Setting Up Posts and Pages
This module covers using either GeneratePress or Elementor.
I’ve used ElementorPro in the past which is based on their old recommendations.
Most of my sites have now transitioned to GeneratePress/GenerateBlocks to prioritize site speed.
Module 8: Preparing Info Content
Mark and Gael recommend info content in the initial stages.
This is to avoid potentially being hit by a Google penalty.
Module 9: Writing Content
While you may not write your own content, this module is highly recommended.
This module covers the ideal article length, content research and writing your first article.
Module 10: Uploading and Optimizing Content
Writing is one thing, and formatting is another.
This module covers titles, meta, linking, images and more.
Module 11: Initial Link Building
This is a new module that’s 25 lessons deep
If I recall correctly, this module was originally within the Authority Hacker Pro course.
Module 12: Affiliate Monetization Setup
This covers getting setup on Amazon Associates and other programs.
They also focus on affiliate results, FTC disclosures and most importantly, how to get paid.
Module 13: Commercial Content
It’s time for the ‘Best X for Y’ content
Once your site has gained some traffic (10k+ traffic), it’s time for true affiliate content.
Module 14: Advanced Tactics
This module is missing in most other courses
Tactics include fast writing, sticky headers and managing your team
Module 15: Becoming an Authority
This is the shortest module in Authority Hacker
This module basically outlines the monthly tracking sheet. Not much else.
But by this stage, you’ve got more than enough to get your site launched and monetized.
Once you’re making $1,000/month, consider upgrading to their flagship course…
Authority Hacker Pro
Authority Hacker Pro uses Blueprints for each section, and within each Blueprint, there are 5 to 20 modules.
Let me warn you: Authority Hacker Pro is long, and I’ve only completed 90%. It’s best to only do these blueprints as you need them.
Authority Hacker are Pro-Link Building
This blueprint features 6 modules across roughly 30 lessons, including some ninja tactics.
In this article, you’ll focus on training your writers.
This is a decent expansion on Module 9 within T.A.S.S.
Core Web Vitals
Given the recent Google Updates, Authority Hacker have focused on Core Web Vitals
This is run by Gael who is more technically minded than Mark, but it can be overwhelming.
On-Page SEO Blueprint
This module focuses on optimizing your site for search engines
With roughly 30 modules, this was one of my favorite modules. It can be technical too.
If you’re building a team, you’ll need this blueprint.
I’ve been an SEO, writer and editor, so much of this content wasn’t new to me.
That said, it was surprisingly in-depth and I found a few things that I’d previously overlooked.
Hiring Editorial Teams
If you’re building a bigger team, this is your next blueprint.
This is for those who are building a team of 10+ writers and 2+ editors.
This expands upon Module 4 in T.A.S.S. which has a few lessons on Keyword Research
This is another one of my favorite modules and I learned how to maximize my use of Ahrefs.
HARO Editorial Links
I….didn’t like this blueprint.
….Because I’m not a link-builder. 😅 I have used HARO briefly to get a few links, but meh.
I wouldn’t recommend this module unless you have a site that’s affiliate-heavy.
List Building Blueprint
This blueprint discusses email marketing, giveaways and funnels.
Mark and Gael outline how they’ve built Authority Hacker’s list, including lead magnets.
The List Building Blueprint was previously 3 different blueprints which they’ve combined:
- Evergreen Funnels
- Lead Magnet Creation
These modules were quite short so I’m glad they’ve combined these together.
As site builders are mostly introverts, I would estimate that few have completed this module.
Selling Your Site
I used this blueprint to sell my Jet Ski website recently.
In this, they cover preparation (increasing revenue), listing, closing and transfers.
Uniquely, they provide two case studies; their mid-6 figure site exit and their old agency.
This is all about the dollars.
You’ll learn how to create epic product reviews, find specific affiliate programs and tracking.
You’ll discover how the Authority Hacker guys built their own email sequence.
This surprised me. It’s rare that you get to see behind the scenes of someone’s business.
Planning to sell a digital product such as a course, eBook or even consulting? This is for you.
Complete No-BS Affiliate Courses
Each tutorial is straight to the point
Authority Hacker avoids any sensationalism, fluff and guesswork.
Their tutorials are often 5 to 20 minutes and go into just enough depth.
Created By Respected Educators
Mark and Gael have exited on numerous websites.
While they don’t publicly share their websites, they do share some within their training.
Each site follows the exact principles that they teach within the course(s).
Often NOT Promoted By Affiliates
Mark and Gael have invested a ton into creating AuthorityHacker.com into a content machine.
Wealthy Affiliate educators spend a ton talking about how to promote their own platform.
Within Authority Hacker, you won’t find such training. It’s just not what they stand for.
Mark and Gael are true practitioners that publish helpful guides with their in-house team.
And while affiliates like me exist, the standards are high. And yes, we can say bad things.
A Very Helpful Community
There are new posts every day with 3 to 10 replies.
The community on Facebook is super helpful with Mark and Gael in there just about every day.
There are two groups. One is for T.A.S.S. and the other is for Authority Hacker Pro:
As an experienced SEO, I spend 95% of the time within the Authority Hacker Pro group.
The Community is on Facebook
While a fantastic community, they’ve built it on Facebook.
I, like many SEOs, hate Facebook. I wish they had built this on Circle or any other platform.
And while I do spend 95% of my time in the AH Pro group, I only check it around once a month.
Authority Hacker Pro Platinum (their latest offering) does appear to be running on Discord.
Their Courses Are Drawnout
Because they built T.A.S.S. as a ‘system’, it is quite drawn out.
Some beginners become overwhelmed by these long lessons and sometimes skip ahead.
I understand where they come from. Many are just eager to get their site launched today.
Content sites need a TON of patience and energy and are the worst get-rich-quick scheme.
So if you don’t have the patience to just watch a course, this biz model may not be for you.
That said, Authority Hacker Pro is built as freeflow blueprints so you aren’t locked in.
A Little Expensive
Starting from $1,000, their courses aren’t cheap.
They also recommend tools such as Ahrefs who have recently lifted their pricing significantly.
Their price can be offputting to some people on lean budgets. Income School is one alternative.
Less Emphasis on Display Advertising
Authority Hacker focuses on affiliate, not display ads.
In recent years, display ad RPMs have increased substantially and make this more viable.
Authority Hacker has limited tutorials about display ads and setting these up on your site.
That said, they have interviewed John Dykstra who has:
I did outreach to Mark to clarify why Authority Hacker doesn’t focus on any display ads.
“We do plan on putting out a lot more Ad based content in 2023, and it will make up a big part of our offering!”Mark Webster, October 2022.
The Best Affiliate Course I’ve Bought
…And I’ve bought about 10 of these!
Mark and Gael have refreshed their course multiple times over the past 7 years.
Ultimately, they have built a trusted brand within the questionable SEO space.
If you are just starting out, The Affiliate Site System is all you need. AHPro can come later.
This is what their Dashboard looks like:
Authority Hacker Pro is for those with at least 1 year of experience, but preferably 2 years.
Both courses are best for those who are uber-serious about building profitable sites.
And yet, most people don’t get results as this strategy requires effort, time and patience.
A Remarkably Helpful Website and Podcast
Even if you don’t buy the course, you’ll get a ton of value.
I tune into the fortnightly podcast and sometimes comment on their YouTube channel too.
I’ll also use their affiliate links to hosting and software that they recommend for students.
They often avoid basic blogging information, choosing to focus on more advanced topics.
And when you do pay for one or both of their courses, you’ll get incredible email support.
They’re available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, with an average response time of 4 hours.
And if you do purchase through my affiliate link, please feel to reach out to me as well… 🙂
I’ve Followed Authority Hacker Closely
This review was created using exactly what I learned.
They recommend Elementor Pro and GeneratePress. For this review, I’ve used only GP Premium.
Elementor has been used for my header and footer elements.
In recent months, they have suggested removing Elementor. This is on my to-do list.
So ultimately, if you’re ready to join the BEST affiliate course I’ve bought….
…And jump on Zoom with a 30-minute call after you’ve finished, jump on the link below.
Note: Authority Hacker uses first-touch cookies. You may need to CLEAR YOUR COOKIES before using the link below, as you may otherwise send an affiliate commission to an anonymous person. My Affiliate ID is ah78. Please look for this in your address bar before purchasing either their base-level course or the advanced course.
Also, if you’re in Australia or NZ and hate FB like me, I can get you free access to a private Discord server for fellow Australians who are part or full time site builders.